CONCACAF urges caution over Wenger-backed World Cup plans

By Sports Desk September 13, 2021

FIFA has been urged not to push through a decision on holding the World Cup every two years by CONCACAF, which called for all nations to be given chance to weigh in on the matter.

The current men's FIFA international match calendar ends in 2024 and Arsene Wenger is seeking to shape a new schedule in his role as FIFA's chief of global football development, but his plans have been met with opposition.

CONMEBOL said on Friday that South American nations are firmly opposed to a biennial World Cup, and CONCACAF – which governs the sport in North and Central America and the Caribbean – underlined the importance of all voices being heard in the debate.

A CONCACAF statement read: "Meetings between FIFA officials and the Confederation and, separately, CONCACAF Member Associations, will take place in the coming weeks.

"Our initial analysis is that we recognise the merits of creating entirely new international men's, women's, and youth football calendars which are underpinned by fewer international windows, reduced travel for players, friendlies being replaced by meaningful matches, and a more balanced structure for the overall benefit of football development globally.

"We will continue to look at these proposals constructively, with an open mind, and in the spirit of positive engagement.

"CONCACAF welcomes the fact that FIFA's chief of [global] football development, Mr. Arsene Wenger, has been transparent in sharing his vision and we are currently studying how the proposed changes would impact football in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

"While CONCACAF's immediate focus is on its own region, we also believe in the importance of being part of the global football family and we will listen to the views of football stakeholders in all parts of the world. It was in this spirit that CONCACAF was supportive of UEFA and its European football stakeholders when recent threats to their own club competitions structures were explored."

UEFA expressed strong opposition to the plans for a biennial World Cup, warning of a possible boycott if the plans go ahead.

While CONCACAF's statement did not show the level of clear opposition to the plans that came from UEFA and CONMEBOL, it urged caution nonetheless.

"Football in all parts of the world should be given an equal opportunity to play a part in the development of what is a FIFA international football calendar. Now is not the time for fearmongering and neither is it right that this process should be dominated by the interests of a few, or that more weight should be given to one particular region over others.  

"We encourage not only our fellow confederations but also all members of the global football family to come together and work collaboratively to create FIFA calendars and competitions that have benefits for the development of the game in all regions across the world."

Related items

  • JFF boss Ricketts frustrated by decision not to allow fans for World Cup qualifiers JFF boss Ricketts frustrated by decision not to allow fans for World Cup qualifiers

    Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts has expressed disappointment with the government’s decision not to allow fans to attend the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Mexico, and possibly Costa Rica.

    The Reggae Boyz will return to action against El Tri on the 27th of January, in a crucial World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium.  The team has played the majority of home matches so far with empty stands, impacted by the government’s Covid-19 management protocols.

    The exception came against the United States in the last round, where up to 5,000 vaccinated fans were allowed to attend the fixture.  The JFF was hoping to have the same number of fans, if not more, but the recent increase of coronavirus cases, however, meant they had other ideas.

    “Covid will be here if not forever, for a very long time so you just have to put things in place and figure out how best you are going to navigate this pandemic,” Ricketts said.

    “We must live with Covid, so we must adhere to the protocols and be as careful as we can, but we must also understand that life goes on.”

    The Reggae Boyz have been the only team in the octagonal round that has been affected so severely by coronavirus restrictions, with many other teams sticking to the practice of limiting the numbers of fans allowed at the venues.

    Jamaica, however, has the lowest vaccination rate of all the countries participating in the qualifiers.

     

      

  • Mali 2-0 Mauritania: Eagles ease to top spot in Group F Mali 2-0 Mauritania: Eagles ease to top spot in Group F

    Mali took top spot in Group F at the Africa Cup of Nations after coasting to a 2-0 win over Mauritania in their final pool fixture.

    The Eagles needed simply to better Gambia's result to lead the standings and did so as their rivals won only 1-0 against Tunisia.

    Mali were already through regardless, though, and so there was little jeopardy even before Massadio Haidara's second-minute opener – the earliest strike at the tournament so far.

    The Lens left-back scored a scruffy first international goal when Moussa Doumbia touched a right-wing cross into his path.

    Mauritania never truly looked like responding, although Ibrahima Kone's penalty was ultimately required to pip Gambia, the forward thrashing in after a clumsy foul on Doumbia early in the second half.

  • Gambia 1-0 Tunisia: Late Jallow strike earns Scorpions another win Gambia 1-0 Tunisia: Late Jallow strike earns Scorpions another win

    A superb 93rd minute strike from Ablie Jallow gave Gambia a dramatic 1-0 win against Tunisia, though both teams had already been guaranteed a place in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations regardless.

    Gambia ended the game being leapfrogged for top spot in Group F by Mali on goal difference, who beat Mauritania 2-0, and they will play Guinea in the round of 16, while third placed Tunisia will face Nigeria.

    A relatively uneventful game in the main saw plenty of chances but few of note, with Tunisia's Ali Abdi going closest in the early stages as he cut inside from the left and saw his deflected shot fly just wide of the near post.

    Ellyes Skhiri fired wide of the far stick with a well-hit effort on 41 minutes but shortly after Tunisia had a penalty when Seifeddine Jaziri was tripped by Pa Modou. Tunisia had missed their first two spot kicks of this tournament, which became three when Jaziri saw his penalty saved well down to his right by Baboucarr Gaye.

    When the half-time whistle came, ill-tempered reactions by both teams as they headed off the pitch led to referee Fernando Guerrero Ramirez producing a red card to Tunisia's substitute goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha.

    Gambia showed a bit more intent in the second half with Jallow firing wide before Musa Barrow hit the woodwork with a fierce free-kick, but it took until the closing seconds of stoppage time for the deadlock to be broken as Jallow took down a cross from the left and fired the ball hard and high past Bechir Ben Said to win it for the Scorpions.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.